In a bid to enhance trade collaborations among member-states of the Developing-8 (D-8) Organisation for Economic Cooperation, the government of Bangladesh is actively pursuing the establishment of a dedicated economic zone. The proposed D-8 Special Economic Zone aims to foster economic growth and cooperation among the D-8 nations.
Recent communications between the Foreign Ministry and the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) have shed light on the progress of this initiative. According to Wahida Ahmed, the Director General of the International Organisations Wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the development of the D-8 Special Economic Zone is currently in its preliminary stages.
In response to a letter from the Foreign Ministry, Beza has raised several important inquiries, including the designation of a focal point by the D-8 Secretariat for overseeing the economic zone’s construction. Shaikh Yusuf Harun, the Executive Chairman of Beza, elaborated that the authority is seeking clarifications on pivotal matters such as the sponsoring country for the D-8 Special Economic Zone and its administrative location, considering the D-8’s headquarters is situated in Istanbul, Turkey.
Furthermore, questions have been raised about leadership within the eight-member countries for the economic zone’s administration. Beza is actively evaluating the legal aspects related to the establishment of the economic zone. Sources suggest that a feasibility study might be conducted to identify a suitable government economic zone for the D-8 Special Economic Zone. Alternatively, land acquisition might be pursued, contingent upon approval from the Beza governing board.
The genesis of this endeavor can be traced back to the 20th D-8 Council of Ministers meeting that took place at Dhaka’s Hotel InterContinental in July of the previous year. During the event, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put forth the proposal to allocate space within Bangladesh’s Special Economic Zones for investments from D-8 member countries. In response to the interest expressed by D-8 member states, the Foreign Ministry initiated discussions with Beza to establish the D-8 economic zone.
The Developing-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation unites Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey in fostering cooperation and development. As highlighted by Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, trade between these D-8 countries has reached a significant figure of $129 billion.
Parallel to this initiative, Beza is diligently working to establish a total of 100 economic zones across Bangladesh by 2041, with approvals already granted for 97 of these zones. The move towards a D-8 Special Economic Zone marks a strategic step forward in fortifying economic ties among member-states and propelling regional growth.